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Nance County, Nebraska


The following is from the "Immigration Issue", a special newspaper published to encourage settlement in Nebraska. Several towns submitted data for inclusion. Just imagine making your decision based on these articles! For the statewide promotional material, and other towns, click here - "Immigrant Issue". Use your back button to return to this page.



An Historical and Descriptive Sketch - One of the Most Favored Counties of the State - Fullerton the County Seat - One Hundred Miles From Lincoln, on the Union Pacific Railroad - Genoa, a Town of One Thousand Inhabitants.

     Nance County, christened in honor of Albinus Nance, the governor of Nebraska at the time of its organization, lies near the center of the state in the fifth tier of counties west of the Missouri river and has an area of four hundred and fifty square miles.

     The land which now comprises this county, save and except six sections, was selected in 1857, under Buchanan's administration, by the Pawnee Indians as their reservation, and characteristic of the red man of the forest, the selection made is the most beautiful tract of country in the state, where this tribe enjoyed the hospitality of the government for nineteen years, when they were removed under treaty to the territory.

     Under an act of congress of April 10, 1876, provision was made for the sale of this reservation after the appraisement was completed it was offered at pubic auction at Central City on July 15, 1878. It was sold for cash in three equal installments, one-third to be paid at time of sale, one-third in one year and one-third in two years, the deferred payments to draw 6 per cent interest.

     It was the general opinion that the reservation would be divided and attached to the adjoining counties, but the citizens who had made investments in this land, without delay petitioned the legislature for the organization of a new county, deeming it more to their advantage than to be annexed to counties already overburdened with debt. Through the influence of Brad D. Slaughter, then chief clerk of the house, their design was accomplished, and in June, 1879, the governor issued his proclamation for the organization of the county, with Fullerton designated as the county seat.

     The reservation is noted for its agricultural advantages and water facilities, which, no doubt were fully appreciated by the Pawnees when they selected it in preference to other sections.

     It is one of the best watered counties in Nebraska. The Loup river enters on the west boundary and us an easterly course entirely through, furnishing thirty-two miles of a rich and productive valley from one to three miles wide. Tributary to it and flowing from the northwest are the Beaver and Cedar rivers and Plum, Council, Horse, Timber, South Branch and Cottonwood creeks, all of which are bordered with rich alluvial bottom lands.

     For richness of soil these valleys cannot be excelled, while the table lands are preferred by many for grain raising as a large per cent of lime enters into the composition of the land. There is comparatively little uncultivable land in the county and even this is in demand for grazing purposes.

     All of the land has been purchased from the government and is mostly occupied by actual settlers, leaving but a small per cent in the hands of speculators.

     The tendency of a cash sale of these lands by the government has been to keep many from settling in this county for want of means, and they have gone to other sections where home could be secured on railroad grants or under the public land laws of the United States.

     There has been a compensation for this loss,however, since those possessed of means only could buy. The better and more thrifty class have settled in the county, giving a population composed of the very best elements which congregate in our western states.

     The new comer meets here the same refinement and intelligence which marks society in the older and wealthier communities.

     Stock raising is one of the leading occupations, and among those who have largely invested in this industry may be named E. D. Gould, Gould & Baker, Gould & LaGrange, Hiram Lewis, F. C. Miller, T. F. Miller, C. D. Woolworth, W. H. Paton, John Reimers, Frank Green, Frank Hodge, C. E. Brady, J. D. Edgington, Jackson Bros., and Mr. Carleton.



is a thriving business town of 1,500 inhabitants, located in the center of the county, at the confluence of the Loup and Cedar rivers, and is the county seat. It is on the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills railway, which connects with the main line of the Union Pacific at Columbus. The Loup river running south of the town was spanned with a bridge two years ago at an expense of some $8,000, giving Fullerton the advantage of communication with Clarks, twelve miles distant on the main line of the Union Pacific.

     The beauty of the location of this place is a subject of constant remark. Situated as it is upon a level plateau between the streams, with the valley of Loup on the south and the precipitous bluffs of the Cedar on the north, it presents a striking appearance to the traveler, approaching from the valleys below, or gazing over it from the summit of the encircling ridge on the west, with water winding down on either side.

     Twenty minutes walk brings one to a place of natural beauty and of historical interest know (sic) as Buffalo Leap or the White Wall. Tradition tells us that the Indians utilized this precipice, which is a hundred and sixty feet from the river below, in the capturing of Buffalo by stampeding them over into the stream and hence the name.

     The town was platted in 1879. In June of the same year, the first building was erected by Brad D. Slaughter, who, with Randall Fuller, were the proprietors of the town site. The following year immigration was rapid and it now has reached the rank of one of the best business towns of central Nebraska. The educational facilities are unexcelled for a place of its size. Two years ago a large and commodious school building was erected at an expense of nearly $6,000 and under the management of Prof. G. W. Crozier, a full course of study was inaugurated so that one may now have the advantage of a high school education.

     Religion has been important factor in moulding the society of the place through the Presbyterian and Methodist Episcopal organizations, which have erected fine churches. The Cedar river furnishes one of the finest water powers in Nebraska, which is utilized in the operation of a large roller flouring mill owned by Gideon Wheeler and Brad D. Slaughter and is doing a flourishing business.

     Mssrs. Fuller and Patoff have a large elevator, and the shipments of this firm are sufficient evidence of the productiveness of the land. There are two banks in the place, the Citizens' with E. D. Gould, president, F. M. LaGrange, cashier, and F. M. Gilmore, assistant cashier; the First national, with Channocy Wiltze, president, and T. Koch cashier. The societies are represented by lodges of A. F. & A. M., I. O. O. F. and A. O. U. W. There are two newspapers published in the place. The Nance county Journal, the first paper established in the county is under the management of A. L. Bixby, and the Telescope, under the supervision and control of E. B. Spackman. A creamery is now in operation which is doing a successful business. There are three hotels and large brick one is being erected, and will be opened to the public in August.

     Among other business houses are three drug stores, two hardware stores, six grocery stores, five general merchandise stores, two jewelry stores, two meat markets, three livery stables, one furniture store, two barber shops, three carpenter shops, three lumber yards, one restaurant, three blacksmith shops, one billiard hall, one shoe shop, two carriage shops, two harness shops, two agricultural implement dealers and two pump and windmill dealers.



is the only other town in the county, and is situated in the eastern part of on the Omaha, Niobrara & Black Hills railway. It is a thriving place of nearly 1,000 inhabitants. The town was platted by Delane A. Willard. It has a fine graded school and a commodious school building. Here also is located a national Indian industrial college under the management and superintendence of Col. H. R. chase. There are at present some 300 students. A large tract of land is connected with the institution and instruction is given in the various studies, including mechanics and agriculture. Col. Chase has labored untiredly until he has brought his college to a standard excelled by none in the United States and too much cannot be said in commendation of him for the successful manner in which he has managed this school.

     The facilities for communication with this place will soon be increased by the construction of a bridge over the Loupe, south of the town. The societies are represented by lodges of A. F. & A. M. and I. O. L. G. T. There are two churches, the Congregational and Methodist. The banking is represented by the Bank of Genoa, with O. E. Green, president, and H. E. Adams, cashier, and the Genoa State bank, with S. H. Anderson, president, and G. Wilson, cashier.

     The Beaver, which runs near the place, furnishes water power for the roller flouring mill of Delane A. Willard. The Genoa elevator company is under the management of Hiram Lewis and W. E. Walton.

     The only newspaper in the place is the Genoa Leader, with John F. Bixby editor. The other business houses consist of five general merchandise stores, two drug stores, two agricultural implement dealers, two hardware stores, one furniture store, one harness shop, two grocery stores, two hotels, one meat market, two livery stables, one milliner store, one shoe shop, two blacksmith shops, one restaurant, one saloon and two lumber yards.

Nance Co.
© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 by Ted & Carole Miller